NCLGBA 2016 Winter Conference Review by Adam Murr, NCLGBA Scholarship Recipient

TO: The NCLGBA Board
FROM: Adam Murr
DATE: December 15, 2016
SUBJECT: NCLGBA Winter Conference 2016 Review

Attending the NCLGBA Winter 2016 Conference in Charlotte as a scholarship recipient was a wonderful experience. The Conference was very well organized, the attendees were welcoming, and the sessions were both interactive and informative. Networking events such as the Charlotte Hornets basketball game were excellent opportunities to meet other conference attendees and experience downtown Charlotte. Most importantly, the conference aided in my professional growth and interest in the field of local government budgeting.

While I found all sessions attended at the Conference very educational and interactive, presentations hosted by Dr. Brian Williams and Dr. James Svara stand out as my favorite. Dr. Williams presented on police-community relations and representation issues in local government, while Dr. Svara presented on becoming an agent for innovation in your organization and what steps to take to achieve innovation goals. I found these presentations the most interesting because they addressed problems nearly all local governments currently face and encouraged new approaches to resolve issues and reduce conflict.

Local government is often viewed as a field plagued by a “muddling through” mentality. It was inspiring to have two presentations encouraging positive change and providing tools for Conference attendees to promote new innovation within their organizations. Budget professionals may not be at the front-lines of community service; however, they hold influential positions and are viewed as leaders capable of improving performance and helping to alter organizational culture. Positive intervention and innovation beginning with budget professionals is certainly a step in the right direction for local governments.

Upon my entrance to the local government profession I will certainly remember messages conveyed at the conference, acting as both an innovator and agent for positive community relations. I am grateful to be a scholarship winner and an attendee at the NCLGBA Winter 2016 Conference, I also look forward to entering the local government field following completion of my MPA program at Appalachian State University in May 2017. I believe my attendance at the Conference has added to my understanding of the impact made by budget professionals and has motivated me to become an agent of innovation.

Adam Murr was one of four recipients of NCLGBA conference scholarships for the 2016 Winter Conference.